By Chloe Webster and Madeleine Lee
Looking for some ways to destress? Wondering how to spend your Christmas break? Here is a list of some Memphis holiday favorites.
It is official: the holiday season has begun. This means that many of the classic traditions Memphis has to offer are returning. Whether it is a certain item on the menu or an event that only pops up during the days leading up to Christmas, there are so many opportunities for everyone to celebrate in our city. Here is a list of some places to go before they disappear after the holidays.
Muddy’s - Yes, food is always first on the list. And Muddy’s might have some of the best desserts in town.
Santa Baby cupcake/cake: When December rolls around, the first thing Madeleine thinks of is when she can get her annual Santa Baby cake. On the days following her birthday, she eats far too much leftover Santa Baby cake because there is something addictive about the fresh chocolate and peppermint combo. Plus, they could be argued as the most aesthetically pleasing option at Muddy’s.
Reindeer cupcake/cake: The perfect density and sweetness of the caramel icing paired with the spice of the gingerbread cake is not only extremely delicious but also the essence of the holiday season. It even smells like a holiday candle, but in cake form — yes, that is possible at Muddy’s.
Zoo Lights - Every year the Memphis Zoo lights up just in time for the holidays. Light displays are put up throughout the zoo as well as a ninety foot tall ferris wheel lit with LED lights and an ice skating rink. Whether an animal lover or not, this event is great for families and a fun way to entertain younger cousins coming to visit the area.
Starry Nights- Sit back with some blankets, hot chocolate, and friends and family while enjoying the best show of Christmas lights in Memphis. You can bundle up in your car while listening to some Christmas tunes on the Starry Nights Radio Station and drive through the two miles of displays. And at the end, you can make a s’more and hang out by the firepit. Plus, Starry Nights is open even after Christmas!
The Peabody- Known as the “South’s Grandest Hotel,” this beautiful spot goes all out for the holidays, and you should not miss it. Stop by to have brunch by the beautiful Christmas tree or visit the hotel on Christmas day for many events. You can also watch the duck march for some classic fun. Plus, being downtown around the stores and restaurants perfectly decorated for the holidays is fun as it is.
More holiday treats downtown: Downtown Memphis has so much to offer, and the food is no exception. These restaurants and bakeries are great any time of the year, but especially during the holidays. Enjoy ice cream at Scoops Parlor, cookies from Makeda’s (We are not exaggerating when we say that they have the best butter cookies we’ve tasted), donuts from the Donut Factory, treats from Bluefin’s Bakery, and coffee from Bluff City Coffee or Cafe Eclectic.
Holiday Wonders at the Botanic Garden- The Botanic Gardens always puts up multiple beautiful light displays which they call the Holiday Wonders of Memphis. The first is Snowy Nights at the garden and is located in My Big Backyard. This is an interactive outdoor display that is great for families and is filled with crafts, music and games. The next is Trees Alight which creates 360 degrees of color on some of the tallest trees in the garden. The Under the Stars lounge is cozied up with couches, blankets, a fire, and some hot cocoa. Finally, the eighty foot tall City of Memphis Christmas tree is lit up for everyone to see.
Explore Neighborhood Christmas Lights- Another fun activity for avid Christmas fans is exploring the city and looking at the holiday lights. While some houses stick with classic decor hanging up only a couple strands, others go all out; these are the most fun to see! Because of its musical show, one of the most popular houses is located right on White Station: 486 S. White Station Rd. Many favorites are found farther out in Bartlett or Collierville - Bartlett even has an annual competition. Here is a list of some houses/neighborhoods to visit:
6928 Briarhill Drive, in Bartlett. (Called Magic of the Holidays)
Durbin Ave & White Station, Memphis, TN 38122
Goodbar Ave & Melrose St, Memphis, TN 38104
245 Perkins Ext. – Dr. Seuss theme
6370 Cheekwood Ave, Memphis, TN 38134
6544 Westminster Rd, 38120
4974 Greenway Ave (right off of Mendenhall) has lights set to music.
Belle Trees Dr, Cordova, TN 38016
So as you make plans for your Winter Break, make sure to take these Memphis classics into consideration: they will not let you down! You can even go before the break as a way to de-stress and relax during these hectic times of exam prep and test taking. Get some friends together, have some fun, and enjoy your holiday season!